Cool stuff- The Encyclopaedia, the French Revolution, The Napoleonic wars, the campaign to end the slave trade. Cool people- Mozart, Rousseau, de Sade, Goethe, Byron, Turner, Goya, Bonaparte, Delacroix. Are these the fifty coolest years in western cultural history? Could be.
Our first "text" is Don Giovanni. I like Mozart- he's my favourite classical composer- but it's the instumental music I've always gone for, and while I've seen productions of The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni I can't say I've ever "got" them. But then I've never really "got" opera, full stop. Hmm, maybe now's my chance.